Murray makes short of work of Is­ner to keep his No.1 hopes alive

The Herald - Herald Sport - - TENNIS, GOLF - HAY­LEY MILNE SPORT ON TV

ANDY MURRAY cruised past John Is­ner in straight sets in the Erste Bank Open quar­ter-fi­nals to keep alive his quest to be the world No.1.

The Scot en­coun­tered few dif­fi­cul­ties in a 6-1, 6-3 suc­cess over Is­ner in Vi­enna as the big Amer­i­can bat­tled a hand in­jury dur­ing the 74 min­utes the pair were on court.

Murray now faces de­fend­ing cham­pion David Fer­rer in the fi­nal four on Satur­day know­ing a tour­na­ment victory in Aus­tria, cou­pled with a suc­cess at next week’s Mas­ters event in Paris would see him reach the peak of the rank­ings for the first time, as long as in­cum­bent No­vak Djokovic does not reach the fi­nal in France.

The top seed in Aus­tria was given an early taste of 6ft 10in Is­ner’s great­est weapon as he de­liv­ered two aces from the first pair of points, though the fact he then had to save two break points sug­gested Murray would be af­forded op­por­tu­ni­ties.

More break-point chances duly ar­rived and Murray, us­ing the court’s depth to make Is­ner stoop to un­com­fort­able po­si­tions, claimed them to race to the first set in 27 min­utes.

It was sealed by an un­forced Is­ner er­ror, his 20th of the set to Murray’s one, and the 31-year-old com­plained about his grip as he took his seat be­tween games.

The trainer was called for and he taped over a blis­ter on Is­ner’s right palm, though Murray reeled off the first three games of the sec­ond set and was eye­ing an early fin­ish.

Is­ner fi­nally won a game and pumped up the crowd in re­lief, then tested Murray’s own serve by go­ing 0-40 up be­fore the Scot dug deep to stave off the threat.

Murray will have been pleased to progress more rou­tinely this time.

Mean­while, de­fend­ing cham­pion Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska booked a last­four meet­ing with world No.1 Angelique Kerber in the WTA fi­nals. TO­DAY

Pre­mier League, Sun­der­land v Ar­se­nal - Sky Sports 1 1130, Crys­tal Palace v Liver­pool - BT Sport 1 1700; Cham­pi­onship, Black­burn v Wolves - Sky Sports 1 1715; Na­tional League, Bar­row v Eastleigh - BT Sport 1 1145; Lad­brokes Premiership, Aberdeen v Celtic - Sky Sports 5 1130; LaLiga, Sport­ing Gi­jon v Sevilla and Barcelona v Granada - Sky Sports 2 1155 and 1930; Se­rie A, Ju­ven­tus v Napoli - BT Sport 2 1930; Bun­desliga, Borus­sia Dort­mund v Schalke - BT Sport 2 1715; Ere­di­visie, Ajax v Ex­cel­sior - Sky Sports 3 1935; A-League, Newcastle Jets v Syd­ney FC - BT Sport 1 0730, Western Syd­ney Wan­der­ers v Cen­tral Coast Mariners - BT Sport 2 0945; Welsh Pre­mier League, Aberys­t­wyth Town v Air­bus UK Broughton - S4C 1700.

Sec­ond Test, Bangladesh v Eng­land - Sky Sports 2 0600 and 0345 (Sun); one-day in­ter­na­tional, In­dia v New Zealand - Sky Sports 4 0900.

Four Na­tions, Eng­land v New Zealand - BBC One 1315.

Premiership, Sara­cens v Le­ices­ter Tigers - BT Sport 2 1430; PRO12, Ospreys v New­port-Gwent Dragons - Sky Sports 2 1430 and S4C 1445, Le­in­ster v Con­nacht - Sky Sports 2 1700; Top 14, Bay­onne v Rac­ing 92 - Sky Sports 5 1940.

For­mula One, Mex­ico Grand Prix prac­tice - Sky Sports F1 1545 and Chan­nel 4 1555, Mex­ico Grand Prix qual­i­fy­ing - Sky Sports F1 1800, Chan­nel 4 1800 and eir Sport 1 1900.

ATP, Erste Bank Open - Sky Sports 3 1330.

WGC-HSBC Cham­pi­ons - Sky Sports 4 0600 and 0300 (Sun).

Six Day Lon­don - Eurosport 1 1930. MLB, World Series game four - BT Sport 1 0010 (Sun). Mo­toGP, Malaysia Grand Prix warm-ups - BT Sport 2 0130 (Sun); World Su­per­bikes, Doha - Eurosport 2 1515. Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship - ITV4 1245 and 1900, eir Sport 1 1235 and 2200. In­ter­na­tional Ch’ship - Eurosport 1 0700 and 1230. Men’s Asian Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy, semi-fi­nals one and two - BT Sport/ESPN 1130 and 1330. Horse rac­ing - Chan­nel 4 1310. Rad­wan­ska and Karolina Pliskova knew that who­ever emerged vic­to­ri­ous in their group-stage clash in Sin­ga­pore would ad­vance to face Kerber on Satur­day – and it was the former who tri­umphed 7-5 6-3.

In the ear­lier game Gar­bine Mugu­ruza de­feated Svet­lana Kuznetsova 3-6 6-0 6-1 – though Mugu­ruza had lost her open­ing two group matches and had been elim­i­nated while Kuznetsova had al­ready sealed a last-four match with Do­minika Cibulkova. TOMORROW

Pre­mier League, Ever­ton v West Ham fol­lowed by Southamp­ton v Chelsea - Sky Sports 1 1230 and 1330; Cham­pi­onship, Birm­ing­ham v As­ton Villa - Sky Sports 2 1130; LaLiga, Eibar v Vil­lar­real - Sky Sports 3 1055, Ath­letic Bil­bao v Osasuna - Sky Sports 4 1510, Real Betis v Es­panyol fol­lowed by Las Pal­mas v Celta Vigo - Sky Sports 2 1725 and 1940; Se­rie A, Ata­lanta v Genoa fol­lowed by Sam­p­do­ria v In­ter Mi­lan - BT Sport 2 1130 and 1930; Bun­desliga, Hof­fen­heim v Hertha Ber­lin fol­lowed by Cologne v Ham­burg - BT Sport 2 1415 and 1630; A-League, Bris­bane Roar v Perth Glory - BT Sport/ESPN 0600; MLS, four matches TBC - Sky Sports 5 1900, 2100, 2300 and 0130 (Mon).

Sec­ond Test, Bangladesh v Eng­land - Sky Sports 2 0600 and 0345 (Mon).

For­mula One, Mex­ico Grand Prix - Sky Sports F1 1730, Chan­nel 4 1800, eir Sport 1 1855; WRC, Wales Rally GB - BT Sport 1 0900 and 1200, Chan­nel 5 1150.

Premiership, Ex­eter Chiefs v Bath - BT Sport 1 1430; Cham­pi­onship, Lon­don Scot­tish v Lon­don Ir­ish - Sky Sports 2 1445; Top 14, Brive v Cler­mont Au­vergne - Sky Sports 5 1510.

ATP, Erste Bank Open - Sky Sports 5 1245.

WGC-HSBC Cham­pi­ons - Sky Sports 4 0600.

Six Day Lon­don - Eurosport 1 1700.

Mo­toGP, Malaysia Grand Prix - BT Sport 2 0645; World Su­per­bikes, Doha - Eurosport 2 1600.

MLB, World Series game five - BT Sport 1 0000 (Mon).

NFL, Cincin­nati Ben­gals v Wash­ing­ton Red­skins fol­lowed by two matches TBC, fol­lowed by Dal­las Cow­boys v Philadel­phia Ea­gles - Sky Sports 3 1300, 1730, 2100 and 0100 (Mon).

NBA, Los An­ge­les Clip­pers v Utah Jazz - BT Sport 1 2030.

Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship - eir Sport 1 1145, ITV4 1245 and 1900.

In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­onship - Eurosport 1 0600 and 1130.

Men’s Asian Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy, third-place play-off fol­lowed by fi­nal - BT Sport/ESPN 1030 and 1230.

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